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San Diego adds gender identity, expression to nondiscrimination policy

SAN DIEGO, California – City Councilmember Todd Gloria today announced the City Council approved an amendment to add gender identity and gender expression as types of unlawful discrimination to the City of San Diego’s Nondiscrimination in Contracting Ordinance.

“San Diego stands against discrimination. Today’s action demonstrates that by ensuring the city will not award contracts to any business that discriminates against anyone, including transgender people,” Gloria said.

Gender identity refers to both an individual’s sense of self regarding characteristics labeled as masculine, feminine, both, neither or in-between. Gender expression means a person’s gender-related appearance and behavior whether or not stereotypically associated with the person’s assigned sex at birth. The State of California Government Code includes both as protected classes for purposes of employment.

In fall 2014, the Human Rights Campaign released its annual Municipality Equality Index, a point based system that examines a city’s laws and policies based on their inclusivity of the LGBT people who live there. San Diego scored exceptionally well, earning 100 out of 100 points. A few of those were considered bonus points, meaning there was still an area the city could improve. The city missed two points because its City Contractor Non-Discrimination Ordinance did not include gender identity.

“Even with an A+ for equality, I knew we could do better,” said Gloria, who worked with city staff on the development of the amendment.

With today’s action, the types of unlawful discrimination will be listed as: “race, gender, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, or disability” in four sections of the San Diego Municipal Code, Chapter 2, Article 2, Division 35. The city’s Human Relations Commission and the Police Department Citizens’ Review Board both recommended the update. The Budget and Government Efficiency Committee unanimously recommended approval at its meeting on March 18.